Back to Living Real Change
Elderly couple running on a trail.

Jogging your way to Alzheimer’s prevention

You have heard physicians say many times how beneficial exercise is for your overall wellbeing. But did you know exercise can prolong your life and even improve the health of your brain? In fact, a 2011 Taiwanese study found that people who regularly exercised for at least 15 minutes per day added three years to their lifespan.

Like many people, you may be fearful of losing your memory or developing dementia as you age. Luckily, two studies published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that regular exercise is one way to maintain memory and even slow down the onset of any form of dementia.

Why might this be? Let’s do a quick brain anatomy tutorial: On both the left and right temporal lobe of the brain is the hippocampus.

The hippocampus forms and organizes our memories. Aging, sleep deprivation and high stress levels can contribute to the loss in volume of the front of the hippocampus, which can lead to decreased memory. What these fascinating studies found is that regular exercise helps the brain retain volume in the front of the hippocampus, which in turn can help preserve memory. While we do not know the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease, there are certain risk factors:

  • Lack of exercise
  • High blood pressure that is left untreated, particularly in middle aged adults
  • Smoking

So what do you need to take away from these studies? Staying active pays dividends not only for your muscles and cardiovascular system, but also for your brain function and memory. Find an activity you enjoy – whether it is walking, yoga or dance – and make it part of your daily routine.

Need to make an appointment with a Piedmont physician? Save time, book online.

Related Stories

Schedule your appointment online

Piedmont App

Download the Piedmont Now app

  • Directions
  • Indoor Hospital Navigation
  • Find & Save Physicians
  • Online Scheduling

Download the app today!

Get the Piedmont Now on Google Play Get the Piedmont Now on iTunes App Store